It’s Amazing What Praising Can Do (part 1)

It’s a well-researched fact that praising and recognizing employees provides them with an uplifting moment and serves as a source of increased engagement. Rare indeed is the person who doesn’t feel encouraged when they receive praise. As indicated, there is a vast array of literature that one can read that outlines the benefits of employee recognition.

In this thought piece and the next, I would like to share some very practical ideas that have worked well for me over the years. I suspect that these suggestions may not be new to you. Once again, I’d like to share C.S. Lewis’ observation: “People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed.”

  1. Recognize employees when you see them.
    Don’t underestimate the importance of saying “Hi” and “Good morning” when you have the occasion to do so. “Good bye” and “Good night” also work well.
  2. Use the magic word, “Thanks.”
    Develop the habit of saying “thanks” whenever you can, but don’t do it if you don’t mean it. Say “thanks” after making a request, at the end of a note or when someone has completed a task.
  3. Remember the importance of eye contact.
    Look at employees when you are talking with them. People, including employees, want to be talked to personally. And don’t forget to smile.
  4. You need to be present to win.
    Eliminate distractions when talking or meeting with employees. No phone calls, no emails. Multi-tasking destroys the personal nature of the moment.
  5. Do what you can to spend time with each employee individually.
    Whether is it in your office or at their worksite, spend time with the people you are leading. Employees thrive on undivided attention.



Proverbs 17:22

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.


Can't Not Do

Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work
Miserable For the Rest of Us
Dan Lyons, Hachette Books, 2018

Lab Rats is a change of pace, fun-to-read book. Many of us have read about the “breakthrough” human resource and automation technologies touted by the major corporations of Silicon Valley.

This book, written by Dan Lyons, tells us the other side of the story and asks the question “Do we want the organization in which we work to be tech-centered or human-centered?” Along the way, he uncovers many reasons for the unhappiness of so many employees in the workplace today.

The four factors that lead to worker unhappiness are well-discussed – money, insecurity, change and dehumanization. In the chapter on insecurity, Lyons discusses the desired and championed culture of Netflix – captured by the famous tag line “We’re a team, not a family.” The meaning was clear – we’re not your family, we’re not your friends. We’re a team. We bring in the best players we can get. If you get cut, too bad.

The Netflix Code embraces the idea that a bad fit is to “value job security and stability over performance.” The leadership guys of Netflix freely state that people who cherish job security “feel fearful at Netflix.” As a result, employees come to understand that Netflix is “not for them.”

The book concludes with a look at the common elements of most successful companies and found that they were highly supportive of their employees. This fact is reinforced by Great Place to Work, a research and consulting group that is based in Oakland, California. What have they found? Great companies enhance and foster trust, pride and confidence.

This is another book recommended to readers interested in organizational culture — it’s just written from the perspective of one man’s journey.

If you are curious about curiosity this book is for you.

Purchase this and other recommended books at Amazon, your local bookstore or through the CherryHillHighTide.com bookstore.

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